Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Feeding the Muse! - Guest post by Melinda Collins

Today, I have the pleasure of having the lovely author Melinda Collins on my blog, talking about helping the muse through music. Music is a huge part of my every-day life and inspires me in many ways, so it's a topic that's very close to my heart. My playlist is very eclectic, and includes everything from Depeche Mode and Enigma to Muse and Metallica and everything in between.

Melinda, take it away!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Yelena! And for allowing me to indulge a bit in one of my all-time favorite topics: 
Music, music, music! 

Music is a universal language that can bring a person, a small gathering of people, or a large country to its knees with emotional truth. It’s also a universal language that can bring all of us together with a singular and common goal. 

As most of us know, music enhances the very fabric of our writing. If we’re writing a scene where the hero decides to finally grow a pair and stick it to the bad guy, then we may decide to write that scene while listening to Godsmack in the background. If we’re writing a scene where the hero and heroine *finally* give in to the attraction they’ve been teasing us with for a hundred pages, then we may decide to write their love scene while listening to Sex for Breakfast  by Christina Aguilera. 

See? Music is a universal language! Music can express love, heartache, physical pain, anger, misery, depression, happiness, and so on, and so on, and so on. So today I wanted to share with everyone some tunes that you can turn the dial up on when you need to dive into those hard-to-write emotional scenes.
I personally have to create to music with lyrics because it’s the lyrics and the emotions behind the voice that drive my creative side. However, when I’m editing, I absolutely cannot have a singer in the background. The only reason I can think of as to why is because when I’m editing, I feel as though I’ve already got arguments happening in my head, sometimes two at a time, and adding just one additional voice seems to distract me. *le sigh* I know, you’d think it was the opposite. 

With that being said, I’ve put together some small playlists for a select set of emotions. :)  This was easier said than done! When I discovered I was having a difficult time narrowing down these playlists for this post, I wanted to know why. The answer? Well, let’s just say that I *might* have over 8,000 songs in my inventory. *Might* 

Okay, who am I kidding. I have exactly 8,726 songs stored in my external hard drive. And you’ll never believe it, but being a writer allows me to utilize every single song!  *bounces happily in seat* THIS is why I believe music to be the breath of creativity for just about every writer out there. 

So without further ado, I give you my ‘mini playlists’ for scenes surrounding sadness/defeat/heartbreak, confidence/determination, anger/hatred, and … love/smexiness. AND! As a bonus, I’ve also suggested some amazing movie soundtracks/scores that are perfect for editing (and for creating, whichever floats your muse’s boat *grin*). 

For Scenes Drenched in Sadness, Heartbreak and/or Defeat:

Hello by Evanescence

Nobody Knows by Pink

Broken by Lifehouse

Haunted by Kelly Clarkson

Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen (Breaking Benjamin has a great cover of this song also)

Love/Hate Heartbreak by Halestorm

We Are Broken by Paramore

Into the Light by In This Moment

For Scenes Painted with Ass-Kicking Confidence and/or Determination:
Until the End by Breaking Benjamin

Uprising by Muse

Now by Paramore

Thunder Kiss ’65 by White Zombie

I Will Not Bow by Breaking Benjamin

Night of the Hunter by 30 Seconds to Mars

Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes

For Scenes Blinded with the Redness of Anger and Hatred:

Enemies by Shinedown

Alone and Waking the Demon by Bullet For My Valentine

Points of Authority by Linkin Park

Lights Out by Breaking Benjamin

Seek & Destroy by Metallica

For Falling in Love and/or those Steamy, Smexy Scenes: 

Madness by Muse

Break In and Private Parts by Halestorm

Kiwi and Secret by Maroon 5

Desire by Ryan Adams (video link is for a fan cover that I love)

Everything by Lifehouse

Aim, Snap, Fall by The Spill Canvas

Bound to You by Christina Aguilera

BONUS Playlist: AMAZING Movie Soundtracks/Scores: 

Total Recall, The Blade Trilogy, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter (personally, movies 5-8 have the best soundtrack), August Rush, Casino Royale and Skyfall (No, Quantum of Solace did not make the cut), The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The Dark Knight Rises, Game of Thrones (TV Show), The Hunger Games, Pearl Harbor, Van Helsing, and Salt.

Your Turn: Do you listen to music while writing and editing? What type of music inspires your muse? Are there any favorite artists you’d like to share?

Happy Listening and Happy Creating! :)



  Melinda Collins lives in North Carolina with her freakishly tall husband – AKA: Lurch – two black cats, and drunken muse. Growing up in the south with an imaginary friend meant Melinda relied on herself for entertainment. Thus, the bug for making up stories – ones that don’t get her into trouble – bit her in the ass in the gnarliest way. She grew to love the paranormal and fantasy worlds while her muse grew to love Grey Goose vodka (she loves him regardless). When not writing or stuck in a corner listening to a never-ending, story-driven playlist, Melinda can usually usually be found on
Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit her blog.


  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Yelena! Oh, I'm so excited to learn that our playlists are similar. Enigma, Muse, Metallic... woo hoo! Love it!

    Thank you again! :)

    1. It's my pleasure to have you here! And yes, I noticed a lot of the music that I listen is in line with your playlists! ;)

  2. Melinda, this is brilliant! I'm sharing this on my @WriterThesaurus Writing Resource feed--thank you!

    1. Hi Angela!

      Thank you so much for sharing! You're too sweet, hon! :) I really appreciate it.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Happy listening! :D

  3. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Fida,

      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

  4. Great post, Melinda! I actually cannot write while listening to music, but I LOVE to use music as inspiration or brainstorming.


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